CFIB to provinces and territories: one rule in, one rule out

Challenges governments to follow federal lead, adopt one-for-one law

Toronto, January 23, 2017 – To kick off its annual Red Tape Awareness WeekTM, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is issuing a red tape challenge to provincial and territorial governments across the country to follow the example set federally and legislate a one-for-one law. 

Every parliament brings new legislation. As a result, regulations pile up over time if there is no mechanism in place to reduce the regulations that have already been put in place. CFIB believes the one-for-one law is such a mechanism to safeguard against over-regulation. 

Some provinces, like BC, have one-for-one policies in place, but no province has yet made it the law. “Constraints allow us to focus on the most important rules while weeding out the overgrowth of red tape that accumulates and puts a major damper on innovation, prosperity and entrepreneurship,” said Laura Jones, Executive Vice-President for CFIB. 

Canada recently became the first country in the world to legislate a one-for-one law when the Red Tape Reduction Act received near-unanimous support in Parliament in 2015. While encouraging premiers to adopt their own comprehensive one-for-one laws, CFIB is also encouraging the federal government to broaden the scope of its law to include more rules. 

“Of course, an even more ambitious goal would be for government to first reduce the number of rules in the system, and then proceed to cap them. BC had a lot of success with this approach, achieving a 47 per cent reduction in the number of rules relative to 2001,” continued Jones.

According to CFIB’s latest estimates, the cost of regulation on business across Canada totals $37 billion per year. While some of these rules and regulations are necessary, there are also many that are very costly relative to the benefits they deliver, or are duplicative of other rules. Business owners estimate about 30 per cent of the cost of regulation, or $11 billion, could be eliminated without any negative impact on human health, safety, or the environment. 

“As an organization, we have worked hard over the years to help all levels of government understand the perspective of small businesses on this important issue,” stated Ms. Jones. “We are eager to see which government will be first to accept our one-for-one challenge.” 
For more information about Red Tape Awareness Week™, please visit

To arrange an interview with Laura Jones, please contact Kiara Morrissey at 416-222-8022, 647-464-2814 or

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.